Friday, April 1, 2011

CANADA - Former officer (Michael Chaddock) sentenced for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl

Original Article

04/01/2011

By Pam Douglas

A former Peel Regional Police officer, who was president of the Peel Humane Society for seven years, will be sentenced in June for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

Michael Chaddock, 59, of Brampton, pleaded guilty on Jan. 18 to two counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual interference and one count of breaching an undertaking.

He appeared in Milton court yesterday morning, where a sentencing hearing was set for June 22.

Chaddock was charged in April 2009 by Halton Regional Police. The charges involved a 13-year-old girl police say he met on an internet dating site.
- First off, why is a 13-year-old on an online dating service?

When the charges were laid, Chaddock was Brampton MPP Linda Jeffrey’s executive assistant, a job he had held for six years. But he had been involved in the community for years, and news of the charges sent shock waves through Peel’s business, political and volunteer circles.

Chaddock joined Peel police in 1975 and left the department at the rank of sergeant before becoming executive director of the Brampton Downtown Development Corporation.

He spent seven years as president of the Region of Peel Humane Society. Chaddock also served a term as chair of the Ontario Humane Society board and was a member of the board for nearly 10 years.

He worked on the organizing committee for the Brampton Board of Trade Santa Claus parade, eventually chairing the committee.

Chaddock received a long-term service award from the City of Brampton in 2007, and was the recipient of a 1999 police humanitarian award from the Mississauga Knights of Columbus for his volunteer work.


Is the registry punishment?

We need your help, see this article.


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ME - Maine’s sex offender conundrum

Original Article

03/31/2011

By STAN MOODY

On Jan. 2, when the 125th legislative session was still a gleam in every new legislator’s eye, the Bangor Daily News published an article titled “State to craft new sex crime laws.” Mal Leary led off with the description of legislators “bracing” for onslaught.

Oh, those sex offenders! We seem to know what to do with every other type of offender. But sex offenders, who notoriously enjoy a recidivism and probation violation rate of around 16 percent of that experienced with your average, run-of-the-mill former prisoner, evoke the shudder complex from the most compassionate among us.
- Politicians continue to ignore the facts and say something is worse than it is. Recidivism is LOWER than any other crime, but politicians don't know or want you to know the truth, they'll tell you the opposite.

One way of reducing the bracing factor in dealing with sex offenders is to educate the public concerning the level of threat posed by various categories of offense. That would, however, demand that we psychologically profile each offender, a task above the budgetary tolerance line.

So we are required to render all sex offenders 14 and older as more or less equal if we are to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act. We create something of a lifelong leper colony for people who have been caught acting out fantasies prompted by our sex-crazed culture.

What ought to concern us more are the ones who have not yet been caught and who may be living next door.

Four of the 50 states are now in compliance with the Adam Walsh Act — South Dakota, Ohio, Delaware and Florida. Thus violation of any one of 189 sex offenses, including urinating on the sidewalk, streaking or online sex chat, will result in a lifetime registry.

Maine legislators, meanwhile, are bracing.

At stake is a cut of $166,000 to $350,000 in Byrne Justice Assistance funds to law enforcement agencies.

Thankfully, cooler heads are and have been prevailing. “We have had some serious questions about the Adam Walsh Act so far,” says veteran Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick. His former co-chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, Rep. Ann Haskell, D-Portland, adds that compliance has been a concern in many states and that change tends to be incremental.

That brings us to the ultimate in inanity — LD 8. As amended, LD 8 would permit towns with no police department to move the current 750-foot buffer between sex offender housing and schools or day care centers to 2,500 feet, or half a mile.

That affirms the public stereotype of a sex offender as a sleazy-looking, unlicensed male lurking behind bushes in the schoolyard. One veteran probation officer told me that in his 30-year career, he could think of only a handful of sex offenses that originated on school property, and all were committed by staff.

Rep. David Burns, R-Whiting, a committee member and retired state trooper, is all over LD 8. “I am concerned about keeping children safe,” he avers. That sets Rep. Burns apart from the rest of us, one would suppose.

The committee verdict on the bill was a hung jury — 6-6 — and it has not yet been reported to the full Legislature. We look forward to fierce debate on the floor of the House being led by ought-to-pass advocates of this feel-good opportunity. At stake is an indeterminate fiscal report.

The fact that state legislators are “bracing” themselves ought to be cause enough for concern. The preponderance of sex offenses occur within families, carried out by family members or friends to whom it likely never occurs to lurk in the schoolyard bushes or near a day care.

They get plenty of opportunities right at home. In fact, the most common profile of a sexual predator is one who looks and acts just like the rest of us.

We could do away with the registry entirely by requiring GPS ankle monitors to be worn by all sex offenders for however long the court would deem appropriate. The savings in law enforcement man-hours would likely far exceed the loss of funds from the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program.

Adam Walsh’s dad, John, argues that we ought to scrap the registry altogether and start over.

The core problem is a public that naively believes that family members, pastors, teachers and neighbors are inherently good just because of who they are.

Perhaps we all ought to wear GPS ankle bracelets to protect each other from enablers who have failed to learn that trust is not something you earn because of who you are or where you live or how you make your living but by proving yourself to be trustworthy.

Big brother is watching!


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MI - Sheriff cracks down on sex offenders

Original Article

03/31/2011

By Andrew Keller

CHEBOYGAN - A Northern Michigan Sheriff is taking a tough stance against people who commit sexual crimes.

He's started up a zero tolerance policy for sex offenders who don't register.

Starting April 1st, the 117 county sex offenders will have 15 days to register their addresses with police.

If they fail, they're going to jail, and the Sheriff says it's to protect you and your family.

"It’s important to make sure their whereabouts are known and they are compliant. That's very important to the Sheriff, that's very important to the Department, to protect the public," said Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Deputy John Supernault.

The Cheboygan County Sheriff has put a duty he believes to be one of the most significant on Deputy John Supernault. That is to keep tabs on the sex offenders in the county. He makes it clear if they don't abide, cuff them up.

"These individuals are on the registry for a reason, and I believe to protect the public and protect the children, that we have to do this," said Cheboygan County Sheriff Dale Clarmont.

117 sex offenders live within Cheboygan County. The Sheriff's office deals with 71 of them. Other local departments deal with the rest. Starting April 1st all offenders must register their address with police by April 15th. And Sheriff says this is no April fools, if they're one day late, they're going to jail.

"We are zero tolerance with this. If they register after the 15 days, they will be arrested. It's not something we want to do, but something we will do because they know the rules," said Supernault.

Cheboygan County residents are in favor of the zero tolerance.

"If they've broken the law, then they should take care of what they need to take care of," said resident Mike Purdy.

"If they don't register, they go to jail," said resident Norma Hudson.

And this isn't the only check-up the Sheriff's office does.

They make sex offenders re-register four times a year with zero tolerance.

If a sex offender moves they have to let police know within ten days or that's a felony.

The law requires that if one is convicted of a listed sex offense, they must register as a sex offender and depending on the crime, registration is from 25 years to life. There are also other criteria for a registered sex offender such as they cannot live, work or loiter within a 1000 feet of a school. They also cannot work at any day care, foster home or care center with children.

All of the addresses collected in the quarterly check-up are put on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry website.

The Sheriff says you can find the sex offenders that live near you by visiting the registry site. Also, they urge you to leave them a tip at the site if you feel a sex offender is registering at one address and living at another.


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CT - Montville sex offender facility meeting

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MN - Prison for predators OK'd - Bill to jail such sexual offenders indefinitely, rather than treat them

Original Article

03/31/2011

By BOB VON STERNBERG

Rep. Tony Cornish, wearing a tie that says “Police Line Do Not Cross,” spoke on the House floor about the public safety bill he sponsored. The bill would help ease the state’s financal pressures, he said.

Sexual predators could go to prison indefinitely, rather than being civilly committed to a more-costly locked treatment facility, under a criminal justice bill passed by the Minnesota House Thursday.

Only the head of the state prison system would be empowered to release the offender.

The new sentencing procedure is designed to ease severe financial pressures on the state's controversial sex offender treatment program, said Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, the bill's sponsor.

"Eventually, the numbers of offenders in the program would drop, and so would the cost," said Cornish, characterizing predatory offenders who would be headed for long prison terms as "the worst of the worst."

The change would not shut down the treatment program, which currently houses more than 575 offenders -- none of whom has ever been released. A smaller number of offenders not deemed to be predators could still be sent to the program, Cornish said.

Minnesota's sex offender program has come under fire lately. A legislative auditor's report in March found the treatment inadequate, the staff under-qualified and the cost excessive. Minnesota now confines more sex offenders than any other state.

Indeterminate sentencing isn't "patently unconstitutional," said Teresa Nelson, Legal counsel for the American civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. "But they have to do it in a way that takes any political considerations out of it."

Although Nelson hasn't read the full bill, she said one concern she has is that the decision whether to release the offender would rest with the head of the state prison system -- a political appointee.

"It should be done by an impartial parole board," Nelson said. "You want to make sure the decision maker is insulated from that political process."

The bill makes other changes in state law, including dropping prosecution of underage youths engaged in prostitution. Those under 18 would be defined as "sexually exploited" and would be protected from prosecution.

In addition to policy changes, the omnibus bill also provides funding for the state's criminal justice system, with cutbacks on the horizon for many programs.

Approved on a 71-59 vote, the bill has been characterized by Republicans as a prudent response to the budget crisis. House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, called it "a very balanced bill that protects our citizens."

DFLers and department commissioners facing agency cuts said the bill is riddled with flaws that would imperil the safety of Minnesotans while saddling struggling local governments with costs shifted from the state.

Rep. Sheldon Johnson, DFL-St. Paul, said the bill "does not increase public safety. It is the fourth bill this week that demonstrates the Republicans' misplaced priorities. This bill cuts prison time, cuts police, fire and 911, and raises property taxes."

The bill would pare spending on, among other things, the state's prison system, assistance for battered women and other crime victims, the investigation of discrimination complaints and a state fund that partly pays for 911 service.

The Senate passed its version of the bill earlier this week. The differences in the two bills must be ironed out in a conference committee, but Gov. Mark Dayton has already signaled that he will reject "piecemeal" bills until he sees a complete solution to the state's $5 billion projected deficit.

DFLers offered no amendments to the House bill because "even DFLers' best ideas can't fix a really bad public safety bill with these misplaced priorities," said House Minority Leader Paul Thissen of Minneapolis.

Republicans rebuffed appeals by commissioners who run the departments of corrections, public safety and human rights, who all predicted dire results if budget cuts stand.

Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy said the department's $16.7 million cut out of a total budget of $904 million was equal to the yearly cost of running Shakopee state prison and could force either the closure of a prison or early release of prisoners.

In addition, according to Roy, a provision that would transfer offenders facing a remaining sentence of 60 days or less from prisons to county jails would be "very difficult for many local jails" and could force counties to cover the cost by increasing property taxes.

Cornish called Roy's comments a "scare tactic."

Public Safety Commissioner Ramona Dohman said a $600,000 cut for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension would have "a profound detrimental effect." She also decried proposed cuts to battered women's shelters and other crime victim assistance programs.

Bureau officers may have to be laid off, she said.

In addition, the bill would shift state funds dedicated to local fire departments, and the 911 system would be shifted to the state's general fund. More than $13 million of those funds would be shifted in the next two years.

Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey said the 65 percent cut in that agency's budget would "push the agency beyond the tipping point" and cripple its ability to investigate discrimination complaints.

Cornish also dismissed that complaint, saying the department's budget devoted to enforcement was untouched.

As is the case with all of the budget bills moving through the Legislature this week, Thursday's debate pitted Republicans' drive to cut spending against DFLers' push to increase taxes.

"We're going to balance our budget and live within our means," Dean said. "You may not agree with these cuts, so you can vote no."

"I'm just glad we're not discussing this tomorrow because I would have had to conclude it was an April Fools' joke," said Rep. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis.

The bill also would reduce funding for the court system by $7 million over two years.


OK - New Sex Offender Bill on Governor's Desk

Original Article

03/31/2011

By Dia Wall

DURANT - Senate Bill 282 would require sex offenders with out-of-state convictions to provide local law enforcement with information about their case. Information that Durant Police say right now, sometimes takes months to obtain.
- So why do we keep criminals records again? Can't they look this stuff up?

Rep. Dustin Roberts (R), Oklahoma State Representative for District 21 said, "a lot of times a registered sex offender from out of state can slip by the authorities because it's hard for the local authorities to get the registration data from another state."

"What we have to do is take whatever information we can gather from the sex offender, send it to Oklahoma City, and then they have to determine what level that offender is going to fall into," said Lt. Chris Marcy with the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Durant Police.

The current process can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days, but the new bill could change that.

"If they have the paperwork that's going to be required in new legislation, I'm going to say we could probably determine within two to three business days on what level that sex offender needs to be in," said Lt. Marcy.

Under the bill, offenders under the Sex Offenders Registration Act with an out-of-state conviction must give local law enforcement certified copies of their judgment and sentencing reports. Which keeps sex offenders from inadvertently being placed in lower classification levels than they should be.
- Come on, people don't just carry their criminal records around with them. Look it up!

According to Rep. Roberts, "it is helping the local authorities do their job, it's more effective and it's taking accountability and putting it in the hands of the people who did the offense."

Representative Roberts said this legislation could be signed into law in the next week or two. If it is, it would be enforced throughout the state of Oklahoma by August, and not just local police would benefit.

"It's extremely valuable. And not only to law enforcement but to the general public," said Darcy.


ID - Republicans protest full reading of sex offender bill

Original Article

I guess they've learned from Nancy Pelosi, who once said "We've got to pass the bill, so you can find out what's in it!" This is just absurd! Politicians crying like babies because they are not getting what they want! GROW UP! They should be arrested, IMO, for passing laws without knowing what is in it!

03/31/2011

By Jamie Grey

BOISE - On Thursday, Democrats continued with efforts to stall the session. They say they'll continue to stall until they have two of their bills heard. Those bills involve a public vote on education reform and increasing tobacco taxes.

Thursday afternoon, Republicans showed signs they've had enough. They protested a full-reading of the 29-page bill after just a few pages and wouldn't engage in debate of a Democrat-sponsored bill.

Republicans draw the line

Midway through the afternoon, House Minority Leader Representative John Rusche (D-Lewiston) asked for a full reading of a 29-page Senate Bill dealing with sex offender registration. Immediately, many chairs emptied on the floor. After a few pages, Republicans started speaking out.

"Mr. Speaker, I protest this," Representative JoAn Wood (R-Rigby) said from her seat on the floor. "I feel sorry for the clerk to have to read this. And not only that, I feel sorry for those of us that have to sit and hear this."

Wood said she didn't think bill language involving descriptions of sex crimes should be read on the House floor. She said it was more tolerable in it's one legally-required reading in committee.

"It was explicit, and I felt it was demeaning for the clerk to have to read it," Wood said. "Not only that, I was concerned that it was going out all over the state. We have a whole lot of young pages sitting here that work for us in the legislature, and it was just not language I felt needed to be broadcast all over for a political purpose."

Shortly after Wood's protest on the floor, another Republican stood up.

"Even though it is the law, I think it's inappropriate that it be read fully, in its entirety, and I would ask unanimous consent that we cease from reading the bill further. Thank you Mr. Speaker," Representative Stephen Hartgen (R-Twin Falls) said.

Democrats kept quiet, and the clerk stopped reading. The bill passed. Rusche said he did not object to stopping the bill reading because he understood the concerns.
- Passed without reading the bill, just like the Healthcare bill.

"Certainly it's not our intent to upset people, but we do have a serious point that the people's voice is not being heard," Rep. John Rusche (D- Lewiston) said.

Republicans declining to debate Democrat bills

In a moment of irony at the end of the day, when the Minority Leader's own bill on immunizations came up, Rusche passed up a full reading.

"I ask unanimous consent to dispense with further reading of house bill 1100," Rusche said before arguing his bill.

"Now, that's kind of awkward," Speaker of the House Lawrence Denney said as laughter broke out on the floor.

Then, in another move of what some Republicans say was a "protest vote", they did not engage in debate before approving Rusche's bill. It's the same a fast-tracking move Republicans used Wednesday when they quickly killed a Democrat bill about early child intervention.

"If we really don't care for the bill, rather than get up and make a lot of debate about it, we'll just vote no," Wood said.

"That was their choice to be petty and not deal with the policy issues. It's like, it's their choice. They could end this in a second by just agreeing to a hearing," Rusche said.

Democrats: Expect more full readings

Republican leaders say they're not willing to look at raising the tobacco tax or hearing a bill to send education reform to a public vote. They also say they're prepared to work extra hours to keep the session moving, and they hope to close by late next week.

"I think we're going to work as effectively as can, and what we basically did today is we accomplished the bills we would probably normally do during the regular work day. It just took us extra hours to do it. We're going to try to work extra hours so we can just be faithful to the taxpayers of the state and get our work done," House Majority Caucus Chair Ken Roberts (R-Donnelly) said.

Friday morning, the third Education Bill is in the House. Rusche says he plans to ask for a full reading and expects long debates from both sides, as was seen in the Senate.


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IL - Illinois House passes bill that would change child sex offender laws

Original Article

03/31/2011

SPRINGFIELD (WREX) - The Illinois House of Representatives has passed a law that would make it illegal for a child sex offender to live near a child counseling center.

The bill would add counseling centers to the current law which doesn't allow convicted sex offenders to live within 500 feet of a playground, child care facility, day care home, or a group day care home.

"I am very proud that this measure was my first bill passed," said State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Belvidere/Rockford). "This will help keep children safe. Current law is somewhat vague in regards to some areas on where sex offenders can reside. My bill adds child counseling center to current statute."
- What about the million other places children go? This was done just to make yourself look better, IMO.


OH - Does Mandatory Sex Offender Registration of 16-Year-Old But Not Younger Juveniles Violate Equal Protection?

Original Article
More Leagle Cases Here

In the Matter of: J.M., Adjudicated Delinquent Child, Case no. 2010-0780
3rd District Court of Appeals (Wyanndot County)

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ISSUE: Is the constitutional right to equal protection of the law violated by a provision of Ohio’s Adam Walsh Act (AWA), R.C. 2152.83, that requires all 16 and 17-year-olds found guilty of first-time sexually oriented offenses to register with law enforcement and be publicly identified as juvenile sex offenders, but gives courts discretion to determine on a case-by-case basis whether 14 and 15 years olds who commit identical offenses must register as sex offenders?

BACKGROUND: J. M. was found guilty in the Wyandot County Juvenile Court on a delinquency count of gross sexual imposition based on conduct that occurred in 2007, when he was 16 years old.
He was committed to a juvenile correction facility. Upon his release from custody in 2009, J.M. was classified as a Tier II juvenile offender registrant under the AWA and was ordered to register as a sex offender every six months for the next 20 years.

J.M. appealed his classification as a Tier II offender under the AWA, arguing that application of the AWA to his case was unconstitutionally retroactive because his offense was committed before the AWA’s July 1, 2007 effective date. He also asserted that the provisions of R.C. 2152.83 giving the juvenile court no discretion in setting his classification while granting discretion in cases involving 14 and 15-year-old offenders violated his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection of the law. The 3rd District Court of Appeals rejected each of those claims and affirmed his classification and registration requirement.

J.M. appealed the 3rd District’s ruling to the Supreme Court. The Court accepted his appeals based on retroactivity and due process and held them pending its decisions in two other cases that have already been argued which raised those same constitutional challenges. Those decisions remain pending. The Court separately ordered J.M and the state to submit briefs and appear for oral argument on the sole issue of whether the different treatment of 16 and 17-year-old offenders and 14 and 15-year-old offenders in R.C. 2152.83 violates equal protection.

Attorneys for J.M. argue that nothing in the language of the statute itself or in the legislative history of its enactment sets forth a rational basis for treating two youthful first offenders who commit identical crimes differently solely on the basis of their age on the date of their crime. While the statute declares that the legislature’s intent in classifying and registering sex offenders is to protect the public from future offenses, they assert that the state has not produced any data showing that a 16 or 17-year-old is more likely to reoffend than a 14 or 15-year-old. To the extent that such a belief underlies the law’s disparate treatment of older children, they argue that it is not a “rational basis” for unequal treatment because empirical studies have found that, to the extent there is any difference in recidivism based on the age of first offense, younger first offenders are slightly more likely than older minors to reoffend.

Attorneys for the state respond that courts reviewing legislative enactments must begin with a strong presumption that they are constitutional, and in this case J.M. bears the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that there is no rational basis for the law’s different treatment of younger and older juvenile offenders. They point to numerous state laws that treat younger juveniles differently than older ones, and note that society in general holds 16 and 17 year-olds to a higher standard of accountability for their actions as they approach adult legal status. They argue that, among other factors, the greater size and physical maturity of older minors, and their added mobility after becoming eligible to drive, are rational bases to impose registration requirements on them that may not be necessary for younger offenders.

Contacts:
Amanda J. Powell, 614.466.5394, for J.M.

Douglas D. Rowland, 419.294.5878, for the state and Wyandot County prosecutor's office.